Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 : Year in Review


2011 was the year I made the best decision of my life.

In 2010, I hoped that that would turn out to be the case and I am lucky that it did. On January 8 of this year, I packed up (understatement) the Jeep, kissed my mom and Sienna goodbye, and hit the road with The Wiz and Gordon as we headed east.

And I've never looked back.

2011 could easily be described as well as the Year of the Mimosa. It started with Mimosa Mondays with the Wiz in Pine. Pep would later admit to me that she was slightly concerned for me but it was the first time in my life that I took a leap of faith and hoped that the net would appear. And while I was waiting for said net, I made the most of my time off from life - and I have to say, I was livin' it up. Tutus and mimosas. Sleeping in until 10, waking up just in time to catch the 4th hour of the Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda. Making chocolate-covered gummy worms. Hanging with Gord. And yes, applying for jobs in between.

Then in February - the homesickness settled in. I was no longer the girl who was always 30 minutes late because I had packed too much in to my day - I couldn't be 30 minutes late because I had no where to go. Linz was back in school, Josh was back at work - and the dogs got tired of me telling them stories from my Vegas days. I started to get cabin fever, living in sweatpants with the closest Starbucks 15 miles down the road. I wasn't finding a job, and the sessions I was going to at agencies had me realize my competition was now that fresh faced 22 year-old that I once was when I landed my job at SK+G. Now I was trying to enter a market where I had no contacts and no experience. But I did have passion.

And then my last grandparent passed away and I headed to Pittsburgh to say goodbye to Beppee and be there for Pep. From there brought my first trip back to Vegas and a quick cure to that homesickness I was feeling. Time with my +more, a trip to Don't Tell Mama and a few tapas in my tummy and I was home. I said I never looked back, but in early March, I guess I actually did - I thought about coming back, with my tail between my legs - to my old job, to my friends, to my downtown. But then the net appeared and I landed an interview at Scream Agency.

8 hours later, I was offered the position. 24 later, I was at my desk.

Come April, I had done it - my downtown dream had come true. I was working in LoDo, living in Capitol Hill - riding my bike to and from work every day. That was, on the days that my dog wasn't accompanying me to work. I lived and worked in a place where it was totally acceptable for him to be under my desk or at the bar. This is what I wanted.

And then, I never looked back.

Come June, I turned 28 and was settled and complete with a cow chair in my living room. Michael told me that 28 was going to be a magical year (in fact, I still have that note hanging on my fridge), and he was right. I was busy being a Coloradan, celebrating my birthday in Aspen, riding my bike everywhere, camping at 10,000 feet.  Celebrating a family reunion in South Carolina, where the week was spent catching up (see : drinking) with the Knochs and sleeping on the beach. And just like that, it was officially summer - and you know what that means....

Matters of the heart....

I'd spent early 2011 with Bear in a long distance relationship - the distance eventually got to us - but never to our friendship and we, once again, threw in the towel. I decided from that point on to be fully committed to my new love - Denver. I wanted to have two feet firmly on the (downtown) ground before I explored Menver.

By July, I was ready to date. I took a different route than the one that had previously gotten me a whole lot of nowhere and ventured into the world of online dating by joining eHarmony. I was overwhelmed at first - not knowing that it was perfectly acceptable to close matches without even giving them a second glance. I learned a lot but the most important lessons I took away from the experience were : Just because you email with someone for weeks, does not guarantee you will have chemistry when you meet in person. It is all about that first five minutes and if you're not feeling it, leave. Guys can truly be clueless, thinking that admitting to being a Peeping Tom is anywhere close to being appropriate.  Just because a guy is a relationship therapist, does not mean he will be competent in his own dating life. Which caused me to live that saying - why do I keep hitting my head against the wall? Because it feels so good when I stop. I also learned that even if he's the nicest guy - and will go to the greatest extremes for you - or at least to take you and your dog to the vet when your pup is sick and you're out of a car - doesn't make him the right one - even if you both deserve it. I learned not to travel to Colorado Springs for a guy you barely know. I learned that sometimes it feels really, really good to tell someone off and that even a man who is only 5'5 can get even shorter in one quick phone call.

And then I learned that you should never dismiss fate. Especially at 30,000 feet. I'd taken the LAS ---> DEN flight two dozen times before but none could compare to the one I took on November 13, 2011.

It's funny, I was just in Vegas for the holidays and I was telling Pep that technically, I was there just six weeks before - but somehow, it felt like a lifetime ago as my life has taken such a dramatic turn since 11.13.11. Yes, I still get drinks with the Wicklers. I still go to the movies. I still hang with Andy. I still have Sunday brunch. I still walk Gordon at Cheesman. I still sit on my couch, watching bad TV and eating Yogurtland. It's just now, on the lucky days - I have Noah by my side, which always puts a smile on my face.

Speaking of love - Gordon at age 3 is loving Denver, loving the snow - loving living in a place where, as mentioned above, he's welcome everywhere. He loves his visits up to Pine the most, where he runs free in a giant yard with the Wicklers' dogs. We call it Camp Wickler. Sienna is finally settled after stressing out so much over the move that she gave herself a UTI. Our place is small but cozy. And it has those exposed brick walls. And that claw foot tub that Sienna still managed to jump in to to do her business. Some things never change....

Short notes...

The Great Kate Escape. PY's leaving Las Vegas note (runaway as fast as you can...).That drive. The First Annual Superbowl Game Face Party (because, yes - there will be more). Mimosas. Snowboarding Winter Park, thinking Andy was trying to kill me on moguls. Mumford and Sons. Discovering Denver. TV nights at the Lackeys. Making my first pot of coffee. +more visit(s). Anticipating Watch the Throne, then not being let down. Dancing with Kristen at Yeasayer (and all around Denver, really). Girl Scout Cookies at My Brother's Bar. Backyard BBQ's. Mimosas. Will and Kate prompting the name change to Kate. Back to Katie. Ultimately ending at callmewhateveryouwant. #hashtags. The Red Onion in Aspen. The Head and the Heart on the beach. Denver Art Museum trips. Botanic Gardens with Kid Sis. Rockies game with Renee. Fresh-cut flower addiction (#theniwentbroke). Meeting Lindsey Jones. M2B. Toms. Bon Iver, Bon Iver. Friend Baby Boom - Welcome Max, Sebastian and Mia! Dog the Bounty Hunter sighting over margaritas at Morrison Inn. Ikea with Anne. Falling over that rock while camping. License plate stacked. Mimosas. Phone calls home to Pep. Denver Cruiser Ride with Linz in clown noses. Lindi Ortega. Meet and Greet and Beer at Le Cirque. Summer OR with Lora. Boyz II Men at Taste of Colorado. Tour de Fat. Holiday Bar. Mimosas. +more gets engaged! Beach Boys with Jennie. Disneyland with Lisa. Becoming BFF's with Sean. Illegal Pete's. X and Tony tie the knot. Flight #784. Dancing with Noah at Herbs. Brunching. Tebow. Being Andy's date to Pinnacle's Christmas party and having my dad call it a dance. Mimosas. Wine and cheese nights with Noah. Booking a flight to Minneapolis for NYE.

My life has been somewhat turbulent (pun intended) - and I remember people telling me that it should just be easy. I had no idea what they were talking about until I had it. 

Here's to clear skies in 2012 for me and for you and yours.

6 comments:

The Event Architect said...

I love this blog!!!!

Anne said...

Love love love

jenvegas said...

Well done Katie K! It's been a brilliant and turbulant year. HAHA! You've inspired me to write a 2011 blog post too. Happy New Year to you and your loves! <3

katiek said...

And I love all of you! Thanks for reading :) Can't wait to share more in 2012. XO

Pep said...

Denver's lucky gain is Vegas's meant-to-be loss. I couldn't be happier for you. Here's to regularly scheduled Mimosas with Ma one of these days.

Chloe said...

I felt so moved reading this post! You are such a great writer. Fortune favors the brave, Katie K, and this year you were rewarded for a lifetime of optimism, positive energy, courage and the magnificent sparkle that you bring to the world. The net appeared! So glad to call you one of my nearest and dearest and I could not be more thrilled that things are all falling nicely into place for you...as we always knew they would :) Love you!